Bridging the Gap
Chapter One: Alone in a Crowd
By: Rachel D Dawson

Tommy Oliver is lying on his stomach on his bed, a frown crossing his face. Half a dozen textbooks, as well as tons of worksheets, notebooks, and folders littered the red plaid blankets of the double bed, and even more pages were strewn on the cream colored carpet. It was a beautiful Sunday morning outside, but no matter how much Tommy wished he could enjoy the day, he had other priorities.

"Man," he said out loud, "I can't stand all these exams! Now that the school year is almost over, every teacher is driving us crazy, trying to cover all the material we didn't finish this year. This is insane! Especially considering its one week before the prom."

Suddenly, Tommy's frustrated anger turned to a quiet sadness. In school, everyone's excited about the senior prom, which was to take place that Friday. The prom was supposed to be the most magical, memorable night in a young person's life, but Tommy dreaded next Friday. Most people spend that special night with the person they love the most, but this young man will spend that night alone, because his true love is out of his reach.

"Its been weeks since I saw Kim last," he whispered to himself, sitting up on his bed and hunching his shoulders, "I haven't spoken to her since we finally made up, the night she was crowned Queen. I promised I'd keep in touch, but its so difficult! I can't exactly call her, and I certainly can't talk to her through the communicators in the Power Chamber. And with the recent exams, as well as Zedd's constant attacks, I don't have time to visit her on Venus Island. Besides, she's probably so busy ruling the island that she doesn't have time for me."

Tommy sighed quietly and turned back to his European History textbook. But before he really read anything, the telephone rang. Tommy sighed and picked up.


^Hey, Tommy! How've ya been, Bro?^

"Jason," said Tommy, his spirits instantly lifting, "I'm just studying for an exam on Monday is all."

^Well, if I know you, you've been studying for the past several nights, so you don't have to study all day. Do you have anything planned?^

"Uh, no. I figured I'd just study this, and then I have an English paper on Henry V due on Wednsday, and I really haven't started..."

^You don't have to do it today! The reason I'm calling is because me, Adam, and Rocky are going to rent tuxedos for the prom.^

"You have five days before the prom!"

^Yeah, but we certainly don't wanna wait til the last minute, Bro! So, ya wanna come with us?^

"Nah, I don't think so. I'm not going to the prom."

^What? Are you sure? Why?^

"Because I can't take Kim with me!" Tommy practically hollered into the phone, "When she and Renee decided to stay on Venus Island, the world believed they disappeared. I can't bring Kim to the prom, and I certainly can't ask another girl to go. I mean, I'd feel guilty..."

^Well, why don't you ask Kat? The two of you could go as friends, you know?^

"I thought of that, but then I'd be using her. She deserves better than me, using her as a Kim replacement. Besides, I'm sure she's going with someone else. She's intelligent, caring, and beautiful, and she deserves to have a good time with a man who really wants to be with her. I'm not that man."

^Well, you could go stag--^

"I'm not up to it. I'd just be depressed, and that'll make all of you guys feel bad. I'll just stay in. I mean, its no big deal. I'll catch ya later, Jason."

^Okay. Goodbye, Tommy. Take care of yourself.^

Tommy hung up the phone, and then picked up his history book, drowning his feelings and sorrows in his work.


Later that day, Katherine Hillard, Jason Lee, Adam Park, Tanya Sloan, and Rocky DeSantos meet in Ernie's Gym and Juice Bar, at their usual round table.

"What was the big emergency?" asked Adam, looking at Jason, "I thought we were going to get tuxedos for the prom this afternoon."

"Right," said Tanya, "Kat and I were going shopping also! What's going on?"

"Guys," said Jason, "We've got a slight problem. Tommy."

"What's the matter?" asked Katherine, "Is it about Kimberly?"

"Yeah. He's really down, because he can't take Kim to the prom."

"Well, there's nothing we can do about that," said Rocky, "There's no way Kim can come to the prom with us, and if I know Tommy, he'd rather not go than go with another girl."

"That's true," said Adam, "But there must be something we can do. We very well can't enjoy the prom knowing that a very close friend is miserable."

"Why can't he come with us?" asked Tanya, "I mean, we were all planning on going out together after the prom: me and Adam, Jason and Emily, Rocky and Jennifer, and Kat and Eric."

"So, Eric actually asked you?" asked Jason, turning to the tall blonde, "He's such a quiet guy."

"True, but he asked me Friday, when I was at my locker," said Kat, blushing a rosy pink, "I admit, I was very surprised, but Eric's very sweet and considerate--"

"And handsome," added Tanya with a grin, "You go girl!"

"But we still don't know what we're gonna do about Tommy," said Jason, "He wouldn't feel comfortable hanging around with us, if he doesn't have a date. It doesn't take much to depress Tommy, and I really think he's at a real low now. He hasn't even left the house today, and he went straight home after school yesterday."

"I don't think we're in any position to cheer him up," said Katherine, "There's only one person who can--Kimberly. Now, if I know Tommy, he's suffering in silence. Kim probably has no idea he's depressed, and I doubt she even knows the prom is coming up. I think we should contact Kim, and tell her what's up. She may know what to do to lift our fearless leader's spirits."

"Great idea!" said Adam, "The five of us can go to Venus Island, and pay her a visit. We won't tell Tommy."

"Right!" chimed Rocky, "Boy, will he be surprised!"

The five teenagers rose from their seats, and walked casually into the hallway. After Adam and Tanya checked for onlookers, they vanished in five streaks of colored light. Milliseconds later, they rematerialized in the darkened Power Chamber, where Alpha 5 was busy polishing the computer consols.

"Alpha," said Tanya with a smile, "What are you doing?"

"Spring cleaning," answered the small robot, turning to face the rangers, "Dust accumulates so quickly down here! What're you five doing here anyway?"

"Well," said Jason, stepping forward, "its about Tommy--"


"No. He's just depressed, and we think he really misses Kimberly," said Tanya, "We were wondering if we could drop by Venus Island, and pay her a quick visit."


"Teleporting now," said Alpha, activating the teleporter. Soon the five rangers were on the sandy white beach of Venus Island.

"This place is so serene," said Kat quietly, looking out at the gentle waves of Pacific ocean.

"Yeah," said Tanya, "It's more peaceful every time we come here."

"Hey gang!" called Rocky from the grass, "Look here!"

The four others met Rocky where the grass meets the shore, and saw a white stone pathway winding through the jungle, up the mountain.

"Kim's been redecorating," said Adam with a smile.

"It sure makes it easier to find Ambrosia with a pathway," said Jason, "I didn't think we'd be able to make it without a guide."

The teens began the scenic trek up the towering mountain, and soon, they reached the city. When they entered, they were surprised by how much the city had changed. Firstly, the golden gate that once circled the city was taken down, leaving Ambrosia completely open. Also, there was a new building, and there were many women working there. A tall, dark woman with a short orange toga and her dark hair pulled up into a twist called them over to the building under construction.

"Hey, Jason! Guys! C'mere!"

"I think we've found Renee," said Rocky with a smile, as the rangers approached her. She met them halfway, and hugged them all one by one.

"I'm so glad you guys dropped by!" she said, smiling at her friends, "How're things in Angel Grove? We figured you were pretty busy, since we haven't heard from you in two weeks."

"Zedd's been relentless recently," said Katherine, "But the past two days have been quiet, so we figured we could come for a quick visit."

"What's that building over there?" asked Tanya, pointing to the pearly white new construction.

"That's the Museum," said Renee proudly, "C'mon, I'll show you. Its almost finished."

Renee walked through the Museum, showing the rangers the various statues, paintings, and artifacts decorating the rooms. First and foremost, in the center of the largest chamber, there was a towering statue of Naya, the first queen of Venus Island, and Kimberly's ancestor. The queen was dressed in flowing floorlength robes, and she held a dove in her hands.

"Queen Naya's animal guide was the dove, because she was such a peaceful and gentle ruler. Kimberly felt we needed to remember the heroes of our past, those who are forever gone. We have statues of Naya, Erwina, Avagone, Dulcea, and... my mother, Leila. They deserve our respect, since they're the ones who gave Venus Island a chance to one day be freed from tyranny."

"Wow," said Katherine, "this is amazing!"

"Yeah," said Jason, "What else have you been up to?"

"Well, I've been learning the full extent of my enchantress magic, as well as learning from my animal guide, the Tiger. I'm actually the only enchantress here granted the privilege of calling upon the Great Power, and so I'm trying to gain as much as possible from the knowledge and skills of the Tiger. Dulcea returned to Phaedos, since she couldn't leave the Great Power in Ninjor's hands. Its her responsibility."

"And how's Kimberly doing?" asked Tanya.

"She's really been keeping herself busy," said Renee, "She's always supervising the building project, training in the use of her weapons and Ninjetti powers, and learning more about the culture and traditions of Venus Island. It may just be me, but I think she's trying to keep her mind off something."

"Or someone," said Adam quietly.

"Where is Tommy anyway? Why didn't he come with you?"

"Tommy's kinda depressed," said Jason, "Its prom season, and he's been so busy, he hasn't really kept in touch with Kim. He figures she doesn't have time for him. Since Tommy's so hard-headed, I figured it'd be easier trying to talk to Kim."

"Well, go right ahead," said Renee, "She's probably practicing her Whistling Sticks, but I doubt she'd mind the interruption. C'mon, I'll bring her to you."

Renee guided the teens into the spacious white palace, in the far end of the city. The throne room was empty, with the exception of one young attendant.

"Hello, Renee," said the young brunette, "How are you?"

"I'm fine, Jezebel," she said with a smile, "Where's Kim?"

"The Queen is in the arena, practicing with Dalal."

Renee scrunched her face. "Well, we're going to go visit her."

Renee led the rangers through towards the arena. Rocky studied Renee's concerned face.

"What's the problem?"

"I... I never trusted Dalal," Renee whispered, "After Syren died, all the Venusians who served her gladly promised to serve Kim, and I really believe that most of them only served Syren out of fear. But, Dalal is another story. She knew Kim was in line for the throne, but she's the one Syren sent to kill her in Florida, and she almost did. She was Syren's most trusted warrior, besides Scorpina, and I don't like her being too close to Kim."

"Does Kim know how you feel?"

"Yeah, but Kim's so trusting. She honestly believes there's good in anyone, but I'm afraid she may be wrong, and that we may have a wolf in the fold. I try to keep my eye on her, but Kim just isn't careful enough."

Renee sighed and parted the large oak door, revealing a spacious chamber, with bleachers surrounding the sand arena.

"This is amazing," said Adam.

"Syren used this room to pit her prisoners against vicious animals, as torture. But Kim would like to have some kind of sporting events here, like the Pan-Globals. She also uses the arena to practice.

The rangers descended the stairs, and they soon heard the clashing of wood. When they were close enough, they saw Kimberly, dressed in her pink and black Ninjetti uniform, with a thin silken cape, and silver badge of a Crane. She was fighting against Dalal, who was wearing her traditional white and gold toga, with her blonde hair clasped in a high ponytail. Dalal moved in low for a sweep, but Kim easily leapt over her opponent, and tapped her lightly on her side, and then immediately on the side of her neck. Dalal turned to the young queen and smiled.

"Excellent, Majesty," she said with a smile, "Your counter attack was swift and effective. If you had hit me with full force, you surely would've incapacitated me."

"Thanks," said Kim, smiling modestly, "but don't call me 'Majesty'. Its too formal. 'Kimberly' is just fine."

"Hey, KIM!!" called Renee from the bleachers, "Look who I found!"

Kim looked up, and her eyes shined with joy when she saw her friends.

"GUYS!!" she shrieked, running up to her friends, "Its great to see you all!"

She warmly hugged all five rangers, and smiled enthusiastically. She then looked around expectantly, and turned back to her friends, disappointment in her expression.

"Where's... where's Tommy?"

"He's home," said Jason, "He's studying for a history test."

"Oh," said Kim quietly, "Well, studying is important..."

"Kim," said Adam, "could we talk to you? Its about Tommy."

"Okay," said Kim, "Renee, bring them to the dining room, and let them have something to eat. I'll get cleaned up, and meet you there in a jiffy."

She turned and practically skipped up the stairs, and headed to her room. She opened her door, and lay down on her large white bed, staring up at the ceiling.

I'm really glad they came to visit. I was wondering what they were up to, not to have time to contact me. I mean, they really do have work to do, but I still hoped we could keep in touch. Especially Tommy...

Kim rose to her feet, and powered down. Her pink and silver uniform vanished, leaving her clad in a pearly white short dress, brown sandals, and a silver crown in her hair. She took the crown off, and stared at it for awhile.

I've really given a lot to this crown, she thought, I gave up all my hopes, dreams, and left behind everything I've ever known, so I could march in and be a hero, single-handedly lifting an entire nation from the bonds of captivity, and restore the isle to glory. I can handle it, but, I'd so much rather just be a normal person, without all this responsibility. And the worst thing about this is the permanency. I'll be the queen forever. I'd rather live fifty years with Tommy than live forever here in splendor. But its not about what I want. Its about duty. It's my duty to rule Venus Island, and there really isn't anyone to take my place. I may not be able to live happily ever after with my Prince Charming, but I certainly won't lose him. Not again.

Kim left her crown in her room, and walked downstairs. She sat in the head seat, and smiled as her friends ate the meal laid out for them.

"I really can't get enough of these Venusian dishes," said Rocky with his mouth full.

"Remind me to give you the recipe before you leave," said Kim, leaning her chin in her palm, "So, what's up with Tommy?"

"Well, its prom time," started Jason, "and I think he feels bad because he won't be going."

"Why not?" asked Kim, sitting up, "He can go alone, or with someone else. I really have no problem with him going to the prom with another girl. He shouldn't miss the party."

"You know Tommy wouldn't do that," said Adam, "He wouldn't feel right going alone, or going with another girl."

"Well, you know I can't go," said Kim, "The world probably thinks Kimberly Anne Hart, American gymnast, is dead. Having me suddenly reappear will take a lot of explaining, and it will definitely compromise your secret identities."

"Something must be done," said Katherine, "Tommy's falling into one of his depressions again. Its not healthy, and when he's down, the whole team suffers."

Kim sighed and looked up in thought. Then, a sly smile crossed her face, and she looked to Jason.

"I have an idea," she said, "and it just might work. Make sure you don't tell Tommy you came to visit me, and make sure he doesn't make any plans for Friday night."

Jason and the others traded confused glances, and then they all looked at Kim.

"What do you have in mind?" asked Tanya.

"I'm not sure if it'll work, but I guarantee, Tommy Oliver will not be spending prom night sulking in his bedroom. That's for sure."